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Ways to Save While You Shop

Updated on June 16, 2021
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Efficient Admin (aka Michelle) is always looking for ways to save money and not waste it on things that will not matter two months from now.

Money doesn't grow on trees! Savvy shopping can save hundreds in the long run.

  • Always ask for a deal. Sometimes a salesperson has some power. Always be kind and courteous and respectful to sales associates – they will share info with you about sales.
  • Sign up for Rakuten to get cash back for online purchases. Before ordering anything online, go to the Rakuten website and search for your store you want to shop at and it will tell you how much money you will earn for your purchase. I have received payment many times and chose paypal as the way to get payment, however they also offer a real live check mailed to you.
  • No more impulse buying. Decide what is need versus want, i.e. avoid hobby shopping or “retail” therapy. Only shop to get what you need. If you are bored or anxious, try taking a long walk, do a crossword puzzle, take a hot bath, etc...
  • Buy Generic for food and medications. Almost, if not always, generic brands are the same as the name brand. Look on the bottom shelf for the generic. The middle shelf has the name brands.
  • Buy in bulk non-perishable and freezable items. But keep in mind if something is going to go rancid or stale or expire before you can use it, it’s a waste of money. Invest in a large freezer and a vacuum sealing machine.

Dave Ramsey - 7 Baby Steps

  • Don’t forget the Dollar Store. There are some deals to be had and then there are items to avoid. Other bargain stores are Big Lots and Ollie's.
  • Throughout the year look at the sales for birthday and holiday gifts. Of course there is always “regifting” to save money. Just be sure you note who gave you what so you don’t give back to the person who gave it to you. That would be embarrassing.
  • Research when purchasing larger items – it could save you money. Check out When shopping online also checkout for coupons to use online. I have saved quite a bit of money over the years using their coupons.
  • Shop at scratch and dent stores for Appliances. I personally have never done this but I am thinking they must have a warranty like new appliances do. If not, it may be better to buy new on sale.

  • Avoid disposable items such as towels, dishes, cups, etc. You will save a bundle.
  • No dry cleaning. I have owned clothes that said Dry Clean only which were made out of cotton, spandex, or polyester. These materials are safe to wash in cold water on the Delicate / Hand wash cycle in a washing machine and then hang these clothes to air dry. If the material is silk, Rayon, or Cashmere -- they do need dry cleaning because they most likely will shrink too much.
  • Invest in a filtered water pitcher so you won’t have to keep buying the bottled water all the time. It will also help to save our landfills.
  • Don’t buy into the TV infomercials. First take a look on eBay or Amazon to find the price a fraction of the cost. Many times I have watched these infomercials and thought, Oh I must have that – yes I could really use that gadget! Guess what? The next day I can’t even remember what the gadget was, so it is always helpful to wait a few days to see if you “really” need that gadget!
  • Sign up for a few classes to check out a new hobby before you invest a lot of money into that new craft or scrapbooking deal that you may never pursue. Again, go to eBay or Amazon to see if you can find sales.

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  • Use coupons. Plan meals around coupons. Get coupons on-line for items you really need, not want. Sign up for Buy a Sunday paper for grocery store coupons.
  • Always check and compare between the generic and name brands. Generic products can sometimes cost much less than the brand names. Products like flour, sugar, salt, spices, milk, eggs, meat, pain relievers must all follow the same federal standards regardless of brand.
  • Always shop with a list and do not deviate from the list!
  • Do not shop when you are hungry. You will spend more.
  • Shop during a special event, such as when coupons are doubled and/or tripled.
  • Peruse the sales page offered at front of grocery store.
  • Join a price club such as Sams, BJs, or Costco for grocery shopping.
  • Purchase day-old breads and meats that are on sale.
  • Avoid impulse buys at the checkout.
  • Use a grocery store card for further savings.
  • If you are shopping with children, don’t walk down the toy aisle.
  • Buy only the fruits and vegetables that are in season.
  • Watch your items as they are being scanned to catch any errors. Go over your receipt and look for discrepancies, as they are more common than you would think.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2015 Michelle Dee


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